Caring Relationship Between Humanitarian Aid Nurses and Their Patients in the Field
Nuora, Kukka (2019)
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The current state of research on nurses and humanitarian aid work focuses mainly on the experiences, education, and professional acquirements of the nurses. There is little research on the caring relationship in the humanitarian aid context. The purpose of this study is to explore the caring relationship between humanitarian aid nurses and their patients in the field, as well as, to find out what factors affect the caring relationship. The theoretical framework for the caring relationship is based on Katie Eriksson’s theory in which the caring relationship is open and the abilities of both parties affect it. Caring relationship is basis for the caring process, which aim is optimal health. In humanitarian aid context the caring relationship is multicultural and therefore the theoretical framework includes also concepts of cultural and transnational competence. The data of this research is based on six semi-structured interviews with Finnish humanitarian aid nurses. The data from the inter- views is analyzed with qualitative content analysis in three phases. The phases are: preparation, organizing, and reporting. Factors affecting the caring relationship between the humanitarian nurses and their patients are people. Interpreters, who aid in communication, local colleagues, who do most of the nursing, care takers, who perform basic care, and in many cases decide on the care of the patient, other patients, both in giving hope and taking it away. What can be seen to have the greatest effect is the patient and nurse themselves, their understanding of the situation and the other, their skills and attitude. The skills of the persons involved are in the theoretical focus, not specific knowledge on the situation. Analytical, emotional, creative, communicative and functional competencies are required from the involved parties.